Reader Question: Worth Restoring?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Dave asks: Maybe you have time to consider and submit a brief answer. I own a 1969 Chevy work truck in my fully refurbished condition. So, that is where  I come from. It has 396 bored to 402. Owned since 1972. My son’s wife’s father has a couple of “junk” Fargo pickups from the 50s. My son’s wife has convinced him they should fully rebuild one pickup to showroom condition. Rebuild to be done in my shop. I tell him to forget it. Nobody wants that stuff; that it would be a waste of time and money. But maybe there is a market? As an oddball rebuild? Could you give your brief opinion? I promise not to quote you.Just for my own reassurance. Thanks for all your efforts!

My reply: The answer is pretty clear to me and I’m betting you know it, too and wanted confirmation.

Restore the Fargo pick-up . . . if it’s a labor of love and there is no expectation of recouping the money spent. I’m basing this on your description of the trucks as “junk” – and assuming that means they would need a complete mechanical/cosmetic restoration. In that case – and even though there are probably common parts with same-era Dodge stuff – this will get expensive, especially the cosmetics due to the likely near-nonexistence of NOS/aftermarket parts which will mean paying through the nose for good used parts – if you can even find them.

You would, on the other hand, end up with an unusual antique that would be interesting to have – since you never see these anymore, even at car shows. That is worth something, just not necessarily something tangible.

That’s my 50!

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  1. I am mopar ignorant as to pickups. I grew up in pickup country but there were almost NO Dodge or Plymouth pickups. Their body’s were trash and the rest of them weren’t any better. I know where there are a couple Dodge pickups but not of the ilk shown. They are, in my estimation, and I can confirm it with a guy I work with who is a Dodge buff(he’s pretty smart, just can’t help the Mopar thing). I guess they are both around 60 models or maybe a few years newer. They don’t appear to be for sale, just sitting in the pasture.

    I know where there are 5 57 Chevy cars, mostly or all hardtops. They are for sale. They’re not much to look at since Tx. sun has chewed hell out of them but the frames and body’s are decent enough to rebuild.

    I don’t know who owns them but it would be easy to find out, same with the Dodge pickups. if anyone is interested I’ll get the specifics on any of these vehicles.

    Years ago I worked on the high plains where the sun isn’t nearly as intense as where I live and humidity is next to nothing all the time. There are junkyards there with some great classics if you’re into rebuilding 50’s and 60’s Detroit iron.

    • A fellow down the road has several nicely restored old Dodge trucks from the 50’s or 40’s. He drives them once in a while. He’s a (retired?) college professor and not much else to do with his money I guess.

      I never had much use for Dodge except for the old original Power Wagon. The folks I used to work for in the winter had a few over the years along with their collection of old Chevy and GMC trucks. Practically none of their trucks had any doors as they were all used for feeding cows and hauling wood and trash. They had an orange PW running while I worked there. I used it to pull a Jeep out of the snow one fine spring day. The jeep guys tried to turn around and didn’t realize the road had several feet of hard pack while the snow all around had settled. They nearly flipped their jeep over backwards when they backed off the hard pack but the PW dragged it out like it was nothing.


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